New Dudley homes plan on hold ahead of councillors' visit
Planning chiefs will make a special visit to the site of controversial development proposals before rubber-stamping the scheme.
Dudley Council's development control committee voted to visit land near to Dibdale Road and Salop Street, where 18 new homes could be built.
It comes after councillors were recommended to approve the proposals despite mounting opposition from concerned residents living nearby.
Patrick Timmins, representing objecting residents and business Blake's Sheds, called for the site visit at Tuesday's council meeting.
He said: "This is simply the wrong development in the wrong place. If this development gets the go-ahead, it will turn a quiet backwater into a major thoroughfare."
The plans could see three two-storey properties built on the land to 'attract local, young professionals who are in need of modern, attractive accommodation'.
A total of 14 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments will be constructed on the vacant site, near Papa Johns takeaway, if given the go-ahead.
Mr Timmins said a major concern was vehicle access from Salop Street used by Blake's Sheds' articulated lorries to turn on a weekly basis.
He said: "We are concerned that if this development get the go ahead, with increased numbers of residents living there, the proposed turning circle is totally inadequate given the size of the lorries. It's an accident waiting to happen.
"We are very concerned with the congestion that could arise with visitors to these properties, that in an event of an emergency, emergency services would not be able to gain access to neighbouring properties."
He went on to argue Blake's Sheds would suffer, with fears reduced access to the business will impact trade and put the company's team of eight at risk of job losses.
But applicant Scott Brown shunned objections his proposals would have a detrimental impact on the shed and fencing business, claiming lorry drivers were 'trespassing' on his land.
He said proposals were 'in line' with the council's development policies but warned a future buyer could completely block access for the company, if he were forced to sell up.
Mr Brown added: "This land is not public open space. It could be closed off and dug up at any time.
"Blake's Sheds have no right of access to this land and is currently trespassing. I have no option, of this application is refused, to sell it off."
He told the council meeting 25 per cent of the homes would be affordable housing, with 75 per cent available for those using Help to Buy schemes.
Councillors will now arrange to make a visit to the site before discussing the application at a date yet to be set.